When astronauts sleep in space, they are zipped into sleeping bags
which are then attached to the walls of their spacecraft. This keeps
them from floating around in their sleep.|
Space stations are large orbiting satellites that stay in space for years at
a time. Crews of astronauts take turns living and working in them. They
usually stay for several weeks or months. Some have stayed for as long as
Russia's space station Mir orbited Earth for 15 years. During that time it was a home in space for astronauts from many different countries. Mir was made up of different parts called modules . The modules could be moved around like building blocks. Mir's size and shape could be changed to fit different experiments. The first module of space station Mir was launched in 1986. Mir orbited Earth for the last time on March 23, 2001.
Currently in orbit, the ISS is the result of the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, Brazil, and eleven countries from the European Space Agency working together. When completed, it will be the biggest space station ever built. It will be about 356 feet across and 290 feet long! Orbiting high above the Earth, it can be reached by both the Space Shuttle and other spacecraft, so that astronauts and supplies can be delivered. The ISS has science laboratories which allow the astronauts to do experiments about medicines, building materials, and building better clocks. The ISS is also always watching the Earth for weather patterns and changes in the environment.
What is the purpose of a space station?
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